December 12, 2018 / 11:45 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. lawmaker worried over Trump Huawei comments

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - A Democratic U.S. senator said on Wednesday he found “very disturbing” a comment by President Donald Trump that he might get involved in the case of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies Co.

Meng, the 46-year-old daughter of the Huawei founder, is in Canada fighting an extradition request from the United States and faces U.S. claims she misled multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions.

She was released on bail by a Canadian court on Tuesday after being arrested at the request of the United States as she was changing planes in Vancouver on Dec. 1.

Trump said in a Reuters interview on Tuesday he would intervene with the Justice Department in the case against Meng if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing.

At a Senate hearing on Chinese espionage, Senator Richard Blumenthal said he was concerned about the comment by Trump, saying it made it looked like U.S. law enforcement “is a tool of either trade or political or diplomatic ends of this country.”

In response to Blumenthal, Assistant Attorney General John Demers said the Justice Department is not “a tool of trade.”

“What we do at the Justice Department is law enforcement. We don’t do trade,” Demers said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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